Did you know Jay-Z released his first book, Decoded? Sure you have. Jay-Z has already been everywhere this week. Last night (November 17), he put in a stop at Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, where the pair discussed Hip-Hop’s social responsbility, and respect for the music as art. Jay also reflected on the irony of Hip-Hop morphing in public perception from a fad to the one of the main reasons for society’s ills.
“It was dismissive in the beginning because it was always viewed as a fad. Then it became a scapegoat for everything in America,” Jay-Z said.
One of the main things I like about Jay’s reasoning for the book is a desire for good Hip-Hop music to be appreciated as high art. That is a mindset that many artists in the culture don’t have, and it’s reflected in their music.
Today is the release date of Jay’s first authorized book, Decoded. Jay’s been blitzing the media as expected, and of course sat down with his home base of Hot 97 in New York City. Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg (collectively Juan Esptein) got a great interview out of the Roc Nation CEO. They don’t just get a good rundown of his current projects, but his opinion on his contemporaries in the 90′s and old listening habits. Here’s some of the points that caught my attention.
- Jay-Z gives Prodigy credit as being one of the game’s best rappers during his early album run (Infamous, Hell On Earth).
- Big L’s Roc-A-Fella deal was done right before he passed. Saw a lot of crossover potential.
- Jay-Z got onto J Dilla’s beats through engineer Young Guru. But is interested in hopping on beats if they sound good.
- Jay had no idea about Diddy and Jay Electronica’s close relationship before the Roc Nation signing.
- Jay-Z’s big on HBO on Sundays, particularly Boardwalk Empire
- Believe “Takeover” is a much better records than Nas’ “Ether,” and states cites Ron Brownz’ beat as “terrible.” Thinks Nas diss popularized the whole “who had the best verse” debates on songs.
It’s well worth the full hour listen on your lunch break or chilling around the house. Big shout out to Miss Info for taking the time to upload this entire interview.
Jay-Z thinks Hammer’s recent diss record will be a source of embarrassment once the Oakland emcee reads his forthcoming Decoded book.
In a UK interview with DJ Semtex, Jay-Z expressed shock that Hammer took offense to his verse on Kanye West’s “So Appalled.” The Roc Nation CEO points out that he was not the first one to comment on Hammer’s bankruptcy. Due to his stature, he argues that people at times look deeply and in turn misconstrue his rhymes.
“I think when I say things people believe me so much that they take it a different way,” Jay said. “It’s not rap anymore and now it’s in a personal territory.”
Jay-Z revealed that in Decoded, he heaps praise on Hammer’s life and career. Jay expects Hammer to regret the diss in the ensuing months.
“He’s gonna be embarrassed, I said some really great things about him in the book,” Jay explained. ”[I talked] about people’s perception of him, and how he’s from East Oakland. It is what it is, he took it the wrong way. I didn’t know it wasn’t on the table for discussion. I didn’t know I said anything wrong. I don’t know that I said a lie?”
This morning, Hammer claimed on Twitter that his diss record, “Better Run Run,” was used to “discipline” Jay-Z.
Jay-Z declared he will not respond lyrically. His Decoded book will hit stores November 16.
There you have it. I guess if I was Hammer, I would get salty too after hearing people constantly talk about the fact I lost a $30 million dollar fortune and went bankrupt.
But when you watch that video, it’s clear this wasn’t personal or even about “disciplining” Jay-Z. Hammer saw a business opportunity. He spends nearly the first two minutes of the video plugging his business endeavors.
They say any publicity is good publicity, but this is a clear example of that mantra being wrong. The song is getting all this attention because it’s become a source of ridicule. You can take your pick from the rotund Jay-Z impersonator, stalking Satan, male dancers, or the ending baptism.
Most videos and “Hip-Hop incidents” are forgotten in about a week. For Hammer’s sake, I hope that “Better Run Run” suffers the same fate.